Needs of men living with incontinence ignored for too long, says CWA of NSW, as it increases lobbying efforts for more support
The CWA of NSW has thrown its significant lobbying support behind a push to improve the lives of more than 1.34 million Australian men living with incontinence, more than a third of whom are under the age of 50.
At its State Conference last year, the CWA endorsed a new policy to advocate for the mandatory installation of incontinence product disposal bins in male public toilets, after concerns that there are very few of these currently available. This means men must carry used products with them which may prevent them from going out to exercise, shop and simply enjoy life.
“Sanitary disposal bins are considered a normal inclusion in women's toilets, but men need to dispose of incontinence products discreetly as well,” says CWA of NSW President Joy Beames “Research indicates that there is a link between incontinence and depression, and a lack of facilities to dispose of products privately and discreetly can exacerbate these problems and mean men and boys may not want to leave their home and join in everyday activities.”
Joy said the association was working with the Continence Foundation of Australia on the issue, calling for an increase in the installation of incontinence product disposal bins in all male public toilets in Australia.
As part of its BINS4Blokes campaign, to date incontinence product disposal bins have been installed at Chadstone - The Fashion Capital, at the WACA cricket ground in Perth, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and across a variety of public spaces within the Melbourne City Council local government area.
“Our aim is to make all Australians aware how common incontinence is in men of all ages, and our hope is to get incontinence product disposal bins into male public toilets Australia-wide,” said Rowan Cockerell, CEO of the Continence Foundation of Australia.
Joy Beames said CWA branches would be actively encouraging the installation of more incontinence product disposal bins in male public toilets in their own local areas to support men living with incontinence to be able to get out and about with confidence in their community.
“It’s not an issue that our society has felt particularly comfortable about discussing up until now, so it’s been easy to ignore, but the fact is incontinence is a real health concern for many Australians, including many men, who can’t count on the fact there will be somewhere to safely dispose of incontinence products should they need to,” Joy said.
“We need to start talking about it more, and sharing the concerns, so we can see significant change not only across NSW, but the whole of Australia.”
For more information or interview requests, please contact Kylie Galbraith (Seftons) on 0411 480 208.